Theater Review: God of Carnage
© THE FLASH LIST | March 21, 2012
Dallas Theater Center at Kalita Humphreys Theater
Written by Yasmina Reza,
Directed by Joel Ferrell
Sticks and stones may break my bones (or teeth), but words will never hurt me (although they might drive one straight to the brink of insanity).
After two 11-year-old boys get into an altercation on the playground, their sophisticated, professional parents meet over coffee and clafoutis to discuss the implications; but what starts out as a polite, civilized attempt to sort out the matter soon becomes hilariously chaotic as sparks, expletives, (and other household items) begin to fly.
The son of Veronica Novak (DTC Acting Company member Christie Vela) has had some damage to his teeth during the scuffle. A writer and avid art collector, Veronica admittedly has “no sense of humor and no intention of acquiring one.” She’s perturbed about the incident, insists that a personal apology is in order, and continues to exaggerate the story to the benefit of her victimized son. Her domesticated, hardware-selling husband Michael (DTC Acting Company member Hassan El-Amin) agrees with her. Sometimes.
Alan and Annette Raleigh are the conservative, well-dressed parents of the offending, stick-wielding perpetrator. Alan (Chris Hury in a triumphant DTC debut) is a lawyer with a deal going down and is busy taking repeated cell phone call after call at the most inopportune times, although he blatantly (and somewhat proudly) admits, “Madame, our son is a savage.”
2011 Lunt-Fontanne Fellow Sally Nystuen-Vahle is beyond brilliant as the gracious, super-courteous Annette. She’s inclined to let the boys be boys and work it out for themselves; but after enough needling by the other parents, her suppressed emotions burst out in a surprising on-stage special effect that left the audience in stitches for a good while.
All four characters are pushed to their limits, each is right in their opinions at some point, and each is challenged as being wrong. And when rounds of rum add fuel to an already blazing fire, the situation becomes explosively funny. But we absolutely do not want to spoil the entire storyline for you. Suffice it to say that the play starts out humorous enough and just continues to escalate into hilarity leaving audience members with their mouths agape thinking, “Oh my gosh, did they just say that out loud here in public?”
After its year-long sold-out run on Broadway, Dallas Theater Center presents the Tony Award®-winning play God of Carnage at the Kalita Humphreys Theater through June 17, 2012. The show contains adult themes and language and has a run-time of approximately 90 minutes with no intermission. Details below.